08/15/13 — Full nest: Morgan officially takes over at C.B. Aycock

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Full nest: Morgan officially takes over at C.B. Aycock

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 15, 2013 1:47 PM


PIKEVILLE -- A journeyman coach, Tod Morgan is back for his second stint in Wayne County.

And he's glad he's closer to home.

The Morehead City native was officially introduced as the new varsity boys' basketball coach at Charles B. Aycock on Wednesday afternoon, two days after the Wayne County Board of Education approved his appointment. Morgan has spent the past five years at Chapel Hill High School, including four as the athletics director.

"I love the fact that it's a 3-A school with 1,200 students, but it's a community school, too," Morgan said. "I got a sense of community pride when I came here and looked around. Having been at Goldsboro and Greene Central in the past and coaching against Aycock, I know the kids play real hard, seem to approach things the right way.

"It's a high-academic achieving school and I like that from an educator's standpoint."

Morgan's hiring completes a busy offseason for CBA athletics director Charles Davis and principal Dr. Earl Moore. The two diligently searched and also filled head coaching vacancies in varsity football, volleyball, softball and women's basketball.

The sixth coaching stop in his career, Morgan considered himself lucky to land the Aycock job after taking a "leap of faith" with the support of his wife, Courtney. The two search for job openings closer to their respective hometowns each summer, and could never find anything suitable at the same time.

Until now.

Morgan's wife was hired as the curriculum coach for elementary schools in Craven County. Now, he's closer to the Crystal Coast and continuing his dream of winning a state championship on the high school level.

Aycock fashioned a 14-14 record last season and lost to perennial power Rocky Mount in the sectional 3-A finals. Three years prior the Golden Falcons, with then-head coach David West, compiled a program-best 24 wins and lost in the sectional finals at Rocky Mount.

"Our goal is to get the program back to that level (in West's final year) and I think with some hard work we can get there," said Morgan, who logged 95 of his 210 career victories in Chapel Hill. "I like the split conference ... a very tough conference, maybe the toughest conference in eastern North Carolina when you look at the athletes we have in the conference and the coaches from a basketball standpoint.

"Night in and night out, you're going to have to do a really good job coaching against some great coaches. That attracts me because you want to compete against the best and challenge yourself."

Morgan got his first look at the Golden Falcons during a two-day open gym in late July. More than 30 players attended and he put some names with some faces.

Some will play football and Morgan supports that decision.

Once they arrive to play basketball, he plans to adapt his coaching philosophy to the talent he can put on the floor. Aycock opponents can expect to see primarily a man-to-man defense and some zone schemes that use man-to-man principles.

Those strategies worked well at Chapel Hill. Morgan directed the Tigers to three consecutive Carolina Conference regular-season championships from 2011-13. Those squads combined to win 72 games and the 2011 team advanced to the eastern regional.

"You don't know how (things will go) until we get into it and see how they embrace it," Morgan said. "If they're willing to go with us, then we can get there quicker. Sometimes you have to see if there is any resistance to change and work through that.

"The beauty of being a high school coach is you get the hand you're dealt and work with them. It's not like having a system and you recruit players into it like a college coach does."